Posts tagged ‘violence’

May 8, 2014

Fr Clyde Harvey on Crime and Society

Aired May 8, 2014 on ieTV Channel 1, Trinidad.

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February 23, 2012

New Bullying Documentary Premiers Soon

Original video link via gay.net

This soon to be released documentary looks excellent and I am sure it will be a deeply emotional experience.

According to their Facebook page:

Bully is coming to a theatre near you on March 30. 2012 Bully: This year, over 13 million American kids will be bullied, making it the most common form of violence young people in the U.S. experience. Directed by Sundance- and Emmy-award winning filmmaker, Lee Hirsch, Bully is a beautifully cinematic, character-driven documentary—at its heart are those with the most at stake and whose stories each represent a different facet of this bullying crisis. Following five kids and families over the course of a school year, the film confronts bullying’s most tragic outcomes, including the stories of two families who’ve lost children to suicide and a mother who waits to learn the fate of her 14 –year-old daughter, incarcerated after bringing a gun on her school bus. With rare access to the Sioux City Community School District, the film also gives an intimate glimpse into school busses, classrooms, cafeterias and even principles offices, offering insight into the often-cruel world of children, as teachers, administrators and parents struggle to find answers. While the stories examine the dire consequences of bullying, they also give testimony to the courage and strength of the victims of bullying and seek to inspire real changes in the way we deal with bullying as parents, teachers, children, and in society as a whole. Through the power of these stories, Bully aims to be a catalyst for change and to turn the tide on an epidemic of violence that has touched every community in the United States—and far beyond.

January 11, 2012

Transgender Sensitivity

Spent the evening watching a panel discussion about Transgender issues and sensitivity from Toronto ( yes I am Canadian) hosted by Xtra Canada . The panel was (apparently) a reaction to insensitive comments made by someone at Xtra.  It was informative though rather disappointing since I never actually heard Xtra apologizing.

Right after the live stream I saw a tweet from BACK2STONEWALL which promoted the headline “Oh Sweet Cookie Jesus – Conservative Religious Groups Boycott Girl Scout Cookies Over Trans Inclusive Rule”. Naturally, I had to read it and discovered that it really was true.

World Net Daily (Which I won’t link to because I don’t want them to get extra traffic) and other conservative religious groups are running to the aid of a 14 year  Girl Scout who is upset that The Girl Scouts organization policy is allowing transgender girls to join and so she is calling for the BOYCOTT of Girl Scout cookies and the conservative religious organizations are supporting her.

Read the rest on BACK2STONEWALL here.

I am not going to say much about the hateful thoughts going through that girl’s head as she is a minor but I think she needs to spend a bit more time  thinking about the feelings of others and less about her own selfish and bigoted views. Comments and likes/dislikes have been disabled on the video which at the time of this writing had about 700 hits.

Not to be daunted, however, one young transgender person made a comprehensive video of his own and posted it.  Sometimes when you wonder about the future you see it right in front of you – and it looks a whole lot brighter.

My response to this video, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y514LSe8FWk&context=C303c6b6ADOEgsToPDskK-…, in which a girl scout by the name of Taylor calls for a boycott of Girl Scout cookies because the organization welcomes transgender kids.

I am proud to say I support the struggles of the transgender community throughout the world  for acceptance and equality.

December 15, 2011

Another milestone in an already hugely significant year.

As the year winds to a close the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has released a report on “Discriminatory laws and practices and acts of violence against individuals based on their sexual orientation and gender identity” that is pretty earthshaking by UN standards. Considering that so many countries who are UN members criminalize same-sex activity and/or relationships – in some cases with the death penalty it is almost remarkable that the High Commissioner has taken such an unequivocal stand in the subject.

The report is available online in PDF format and can be downloaded here. It makes the position of the UN very clear:

In all regions, people experience violence and discrimination because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In many cases, even the perception of homosexuality or transgender identity puts people at risk. Violations include but are not limited to killings, rape and physical attacks, torture, arbitrary detention, the denial of rights to assembly, expression and information, and discrimination in employment, health and education. United Nations mechanisms, including human rights treaty bodies and the special procedures of the Human Rights Council, have documented such violations for close to two decades.

The report notes what so many nations have failed to note – that the Universal Declaration of Human Rights also applies  to LGBT people.

The application of international human rights law is guided by the principles of universality and non-discrimination enshrined in article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that
all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and . All people, including lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) persons, are entitled to enjoy the protections provided for by international human rights law, including in respect of rights to life, security of person and privacy, the right to be free from torture, arbitrary arrest and detention, the right to be free from discrimination and the right to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly. The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action confirms that, while the significance of national and regional particularities and various historical, cultural and religious backgrounds must be borne in mind, it is the duty of States, regardless of their political, economic and cultural systems, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms.”3

It goes on to point out that though sexual orientation or gender identity might not be specifically spelled out in UN documents as a grounds for protection, like age, marital status and numerous other grounds, they are covered :

The specific grounds of discrimination referred to in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties are not exhaustive. The drafters intentionally left the grounds of discrimination open

The specific grounds of discrimination referred to in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other human rights treaties are not exhaustive. The drafters intentionally left the grounds of discrimination open

by using the phrase “other status. Sexual orientation and gender identity, like disability, age and health status, are not explicitly mentioned among the grounds listed in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights or the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. In 1994, in the case of , the Human Rights Committee held that States are obligated to protect individuals from discrimination on the basis of their sexual orientationThis position is reflected in later decisions of the Committee and in general comments of the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, the Committee on the Rights of the Child, the Committee against Torture and the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women.6

For those who think the argument for protection is purely philosophical, the report documents the disturbing reality that LGBT people lose their lives  simply  for being who they are – including one incident in Jamaica.

Since 1999, the Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions has regularly referred to persons being subjected to death threats or killed because of sexual orientation and gender identity.

The current mandate holder recently highlighted the murders of at least 31 LGBT persons in Honduras during an 18-month period, including a transgender person found dead in a ditch, her body beaten and burned, showing evidence of rape and blows to her face from stoning so severe as to render the remains virtually unrecognizable.In Jamaica, a man was allegedly stabbed and stoned to death after police, who reportedly participated in the attack, urged others to beat him because he was homosexualThe Special Rapporteur on violence against women has highlighted the targeted murder of lesbians in South Africa, including a case in which two lesbians were beaten, stoned and one stabbed to death

LGBT persons are also among the victims of so-called
honour killings, carried out against those seen by family or community members to have brought shame or dishonour on a family, often for transgressing gender norms or for sexual behaviour, including actual or assumed same-sex sexual activity. While women are generally the targets of this sort of punishment, these attacks can be directed at individuals of any sex

Reports from regional and non-governmental organizations point to a pattern of targeted violence.

The African Commission on Human and Peoples‟ Rights noted “an upsurge of intolerance against sexual minorities” in Cameroon, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights has repeatedly addressed related concerns in Latin America and the CaribbeanOSCE reported 44 bias-motivated murders of LGBT persons in 2009.

February 25, 2011

CNN: A cry in the night from Tripoli

Anderson Cooper’s  heartbreaking interview with an anonymous woman in Tripoli as she fears for her nation and her own life. Her appeal for the rest of the world to intervene and stop the carnage brought me to tears.

Apologies for the commercial at the beginning.

Vodpod videos no longer available.

CNN.com Video, posted with vodpod
February 25, 2011

Russia Today: ‘Gaddafi funds frozen, new dictators will be as corrupt as the old ones’

RT’s Rory Suchet discusses the situation in the Middle East with Anthony Wile – the founder and chief editor of the political website thedailybell.com.

 

October 13, 2010

In memory of Matthew Shepard

 

A beautiful life lost and a horror that persists.

 

I wanted this to have a separate entry. I will leave it to GLAAD’s blog to sum it up for me. And if you are a journalist I would urge you to download the GLAAD guidelines for journalists.

In any case here is GLAAD’s article on Matthew Shepard. Read it and weep as we all should.